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those press conferences day after day. so literally you can look right down on it. one of the troubling things for parents, a lot of kids up here skiing. absolutely gorgeous day, and they can't get their kids. they took everybody off the ski runs and they put them in the cafeteria up here. and parents have been coming up club view drive which is the way you get to the resort and they're being turned around and they're very agitated because they can't get to their kids. and they're told to go another route. i'm not sure how they're getting them to retrieve their kids. >> sorry to interrupt you for a second. i want to clarify because our viewers are watching pictures of the cabin where the standoff is happening. you're talking about the cabin where two women were taken hostage, correct? >> you know, i don't know. all i know is that this is the cabin where he was, the sheriff's depths have confirmed that to me. and of course i've been watching it as people are coming in and out. this is the one that is very, very close to the ski resort.
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>> near big bear mountain? >> yeah. >> that seems to be the original cabin where he apparently had these two women tied up for a couple of days. this is where they say someone matching christopher dorner's description took off in a white pickup at about 12:00 this afternoon. >> this is where the white pickup came from. you're correct. confirmed this is where the white pickup came from. but they've cordoned off a big side of this hillside here now as they continue their investigation. >> i want to go back. anna garcia is one of our reporters who's been getting in-depth information from sources. she says that cabin that you're looking at, it's believed that one woman may have broken free and then called 911 today. that's what she's hearing from her source -- >> there's no sign of any kind of forced entry into the cabin. i've been looking at the windows. i thought maybe one had -- it
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was broken, but it doesn't appear this way. there's a screen off one of the windows towards the back end of the cabin. and when the sheriff deputies went in there, one thing they did, they pulled all the drapes down. the blinds down. and i've sent you guys some pictures. i don't know if you have them yet. >> we're going to get those -- >> chris matthews in new york. two hours before the president delivers his state of the union. we're tracking breaking news out of southern california. we'll get to all the news out of washington, what the president's expected to say tonight, how the republicans are so conflicted they have two responses planned tonight. and we'll have some of our top people here to tee off with maybe the president's last chance to go big. but first the breaking news out of california. police are in a tense standoff right now in the san bernardino mountains with someone they believe is the fugitive, the ex-los angeles police officer christopher dorner. it began when police deputies responded to a report of a stolen car, actually a pickup. the suspect in that robbery was reported to match dorner's
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description. and that led to this shootout situation. in the last hour, the lapd briefed reporters on what has happened so far. >> the suspect in the vehicle fled into the forest. shortly thereafter, this individual barricaded himself in one of the cabins there and an exchange of gunfire occurred. during that exchange of gunfire, two other officers were injured. >> dorner has been the focus on an intense manhunt for several days now. he's suspected of killing three people including the daughter of a former police captain and her fiance. he's also suspected in the shooting of a police officer in riverside county. john yang is our los angeles bureau. he's there with more now. john, i haven't talked to you for an hour, what's new? >> not much is new. this has been going on for more than three hours. it's still a standoff at this cabin up in big bear lake, the san bernardino mountains. we know two officers, we're not
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sure which jurisdiction, two officers have been wounded. there's no official word on conditions. they've been taken to the medical center. the hospital is keeping mum. they're told that the san bernardino county's sheriff's department is on their way to the hospital. they will be making a public statement. nothing is being said about their conditions until the san bernardino sheriff's department gets there. but the standoff continues in this cabin. we are learning from people in the area that they believe the cabin is vacant. they believe there's no power, no running water, no internet connection, no telephone service. there had been shots exchanged, automatic -- what's being described as automatic gunfire coming from the cabin. but so far we've had no more reports of any more injuries, no more reports on how this is progressing. we've seen armored vehicles, armored equipment being moved up
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the road toward that cabin. but so far no word as to what's going on. knbc, our local nbc station in los angeles has moved their helicopter out at the request of the sheriff and faa has put flight restrictions on in the area. clearly the sheriff doesn't want anybody to see what's going on with the s.w.a.t. teams around that cabin. certainly not the person inside the cabin. chris? >> john, how did you -- how do we determine there's no tv in that cabin? >> we're getting that from -- this is an l.a. times report from the owner who says that it's been vacant. there was someone there this weekend. they said it was vacant as of monday. and that there's no power, no running water, no telephone service. >> which police forces are surrounding the cabin as we know it right now? >> right now it's the san bernardino county sheriff's department. we understand that the
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california fish and wildlife, they were the ones to first make contact with the suspect believed to be dorner. a california fish and wildlife -- first encountered the suspect. the suspect and warden got out of their vehicles and exchanged gunfire. the suspect then ran to this cabin. we also understand u.s. marshal service is up there. lapd has representatives there. they're only there standing by and will help if the san bernardino county sheriff's department asks for it. >> do we know who's bringing in the armored personnel carrier? maybe several of them? >> we don't know. some of the markings we saw, i believe, were the county sheriffs. but again, that was going up some shots from knbc on monitor. so we really don't know. >> we're getting conflicting reports.
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the condition of the two police officers. one looked pretty scary right now. so we're going to get that officially from the police department, not from the hospital. right? >> exactly. the hospital is holding -- is referring everything to the sheriff's department. as i say, we have no official word on the conditions of either of those officers. and the sheriff's department spokesman is on her way now to the hospital where we're told she will brief reporters. we don't know when. >> okay. thank you so much for that reporting in los angeles. right now we're bringing in one of the great policemen of our time. bill bratly. you know barricade situations. what is the m.o. here? what do police do? >> time is on the side of the police in this case. he's contained. he's confined. he's isolated. the first priority is going to be to protect the lives of the police officers surrounding that cabin. hopefully there are not hostages inside. right now there are no reports of that.
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so it's him against law enforcement. sbn isolated. they will return fire as he fires at them. basically too much risk of them being injured by his gunfire. they will attempt to take him out with sniper fire if they can. but the preferred course of action would be for him to surrender. they will make efforts to get a communications device into that cabin if in fact he has no telecommunications within. >> it's been described as automatic weapons fire. what would that be? i thought they've all been outlawed since the '30s. >> not at all it's easy to take a semiautomatic weapon and make it into an automatic weapon. >> a machine gun. >> that's right. this is an individual familiar with automatic weapons from the time in the military. >> i skds this an hour or so
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ago, people under stress like this with their adrenaline rushing, is there an acutability to hit people. he's a trained marine officer, police officer, he could be a good shot. >> even in the best case circumstances, some of the most highly trained officers, i think they hit on the average less than 30% of the time in terms of what they're aiming at. and then higher the stress level, the fewer the rounds that are accurate. in terms of the first officer the fish and game warden would appear to be if the story is accurate, he's a very lucky individual. >> we've figured this man is media savvy and intelligent. the question is he knows he's killed a police officer and two other people if these are in fact the case, alleged at this time, allegations at this time. if he knows he's facing capital punishment right now for killing a police officer and two others and attempted murder situations,
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why would he surrender? how do you make him do that? >> you know, he has his alleged list of grievances against the lapd. this would be in furtherance to go out and tell his story. going out in a blaze of glory, the story ends. i would think his option is to find a way to tell his story. so we can watch the cell justice system. >> you mean two or three years to put out his pr. >> exactly. the death penalty in kralss, my grandson will be buried before they put him to death. >> he knows that. let me ask you about his situation. the attitude he has towards the lapd. what do you make of it? you find people that come along that never get over a grievance. they never get over it. >> that's right. and he is an injustice collector
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as described by one of the profilers. it just stews and builds up in him. and his grievances in his mind whether my own mind or anybody eels's, they are his grievances and he has them against the lapd. insurgence of racism, which i take personal offense to that. i spent my whole life in policing addressing that issue. the lapd of 2013 is not the lapd of the '80s and '90s, or '70s. and his mind-set, obviously this individual has many problems, but the lapd today is a very different operation. the captain that basically was in charge of his board of rights, there was just an article written about him in the black community. how beloved he is there. his wife in african-american, a sergeant in the los angeles police department. and this was the person sharing the board of rights that recommended the discharge. >> and what was the reason for his discharge?
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>> discharge was untruthfulness. it was found that in the course of the investigation of his original allegations that he had been untruthful and the board of rights based on their examination determined that he should be discharged. i discharged him as chief of police. he subsequently appealed to the court system in california and lost in the court system. so there was a review by the california court system of the actions of the los angeles police department. and they were upheld. >> what does a person like this in a stressful situation like that guilty or innocent or whatever degree of guilt, what do they do when they see an armored personnel unit pull snup they know there's nothing to do. >> in a barricaded negotiation, you attempt to reduce the stress, the tension. i was trained many years ago as a negotiator. in this instance there will be an effort to kind of calm this thing down.
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to reduce opportunities for him to shoot at officers and attempt to engage him. quiet him down and as we're talking, the idea that basically if you're killed in the shootout, your story ends. surrender, you can continue to tell the story. >> the sight of an armored person, he realizes they can fire with impunity at him. zblechb without the armored personnel there. >> there's nothing for them to shoot at. >> actually with the number of officers surrounding that cabin, this is a trained marksman. that is the issue of concern about him firing randomly into the woods at any point in time he can hit one of these officers. and so the idea is that they will return fire if he's actively shooting at them. the army personnel carrier would be used if in fact it was decided they now had to go in after him. the time is on the side of law enforcement here. i've sat through these situations for 36, 48 hours.
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he's not going anywhere. and eventually hopefully he'll run out of ammunition. if he continues to fire, they will attempt to take him out. the move to go in after him, why put additional officers at risk in that situation? >> time is on the side of law enforcement. thank you for your time commissioner bill bratton. we will bring you up to date if there are developments. now the state of the union is in less than two hours now. our coverage begins at this. this is "hardball," the place for politics. come over to mission a for a final go. this is for real this time. step seven point two one two. verify and lock. command is locked. five seconds. three, two, one. standing by for capture. the most innovative software on the planet... dragon is captured. is connecting today's leading companies to places beyond it.
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there are tran formational presidents the president saturday thad. someone who changes the direction of the country. tonight we get a look at the
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president's efforts in that regard. everyone who watches will see and hear president obama in his reach for history. will he move mightily on immigration and gun safety? will he propose actions to chop down the country's long lingering high unemployment rates. will he lead the country to change b? will he use the bully pulpit to pressure to take on the challenges that lie tonight in the state of the union? howard fine man is director for "the huffington post" and msnbc analyst. and alex wagner. howard, you first. then t i'd like to know your sense of the way i gauged it. is tonight going to show the depth he'll go to penetrate history? >> i think so, chris. i think he is going to try hard. because as he himself has said repeatedly and his aides are saying today, doing something to improve the lot and he lives of middle class americans, the core
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and anchor is essential for both the country and the president's record. you're going to hear a lot of that tonight. i think he's going to make the case and make the claim. progressives are going to say he hasn't gone far enough. but this is the president's last clear chance, i think, to come to be known as a guy who not only saved us from disaster a few years ago, but really advanced the life of the middle class. something he hasn't done yet. >> i'll be back to you. alex, your view of what the president's central push will be tonight and how deep it will go. >> i think the president will speak plainly about the american dream. this is something he's been teeing up. this is his third speech. the second installment was the inauguration and this is the third part. i think as howard says, this is going to be couched in sort of a bigger view of where the country is headed. the language in the excerpts we've seen is big language. he talks about the economy being
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the north star. the basic bargains that make america america. i mean, rhetorically i think this is a big speech. >> howard, let's go through what he's going to try to get from the congress. he's addressing the house of representatives and senate in that chamber tonight. what's the real hail mary he might come out with that may surprise everyone? >> i think the hail mary would be on the topic that has been woven into our coverage all night, chris. which is gun violence. and i think what he says about efforts at gun control will be listened to very carefully for the reach of them. whether they're all realistic or not in terms of achieving them, i don't know. but people will want him to dig deep on that. they will be disappointed if he doesn't. on immigration, again, he's got a chance for a deal. but his own people have said doing something to really materially improve the lives of the middle class is what he's
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staking this second term on. and he's going to make the promise tonight. >> he believes in the end it's going to come down to the way he judged recent presidents. bill clinton is popular today. notwithstanding the impeachment and all that went on because he improved the lives of middle class americans. does this president realize that pay dirt politically is improving the lives of the vast middle class? it's not about the stuff around the fringe. >> oh, i mean, absolutely. i think that's foundational to his presidency is improving the lot of the middle class and talking about possibility, income mobility, and adjust in society. in terms of the curve balls you asked howard about, i wouldn't be surprised if he saw something maybe on energy. the president has been dancing around this topic in recent months. it is something he promised he would address when he was first elected. the rising of the seas and the warming of the planet. i think there's been talk among environmentalists that they're looking at this as perhaps
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addressing environmental change. >> btu tax, something like that? >> well, it could be something like, you know, a green bank. it could be something like carbon caps and epa levels. there are a number of different proposals. all of them will have to be done without the cooperation of congress given where we had in terms of debating the basic science of climate change or where some members of the republican party are. >> let's go to partisan warfare. here's mitch mcconnell today. >> some media outlets are already reporting that we'll be subjected to another litany of left wing proposals with plenty of red meat for the president's base. i sure hope not. the campaign is over. and the fact is if the president plans to accomplish anything good for the country in the coming months, he's going to have to go through a republican-controlled house. >> then we have boehner today. usually the milder version of
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those two gentlemen in leadership saying he doesn't have the guts to do what he has to do in terms of fiscal policy. this new term is street corner trash talk. rubio did it. he doesn't have the guts. this sort of you go first daring of the schoolyard. we grew up with. it seems to me indecent. i guess that's what we talk like today. >> no. and i think that's significant. john boehner, he doesn't generally go that direction. but i think he's doing it -- he's throwing the red meat to his own base which is the tea party -- an uncertain base for him which is the ptea party bas. the key is revenues. i think the president was able to outmaneuver the republicans on the debt ceiling and get an increase on the tax rates on the richest in america. the republicans think that that was more than enough. they don't want to talk about revenues anymore. but the president tonight is going to talk about revenues. not tax rate increases, but other measures to generate -- >> okay. howard, breaking news from california.
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let's go to l.a. >> -- treated here. and unfortunately one of our deputies passed away as a result of his injuries. i'll take a couple of questions. >> anything you could tell us about the other deputy that was brought here? was it another san bernardino county deputy? >> yes. both were. >> and his condition? >> he's in surgery, but he should be fine. >> i was told by a source that the deputy was shot in the face. can you -- >> i'm not going to comment where his injuries are. >> are they aware it might have been dorner in the stolen car when they tried to pull him over or something? >> that information was made aware to the deputies that the suspect matched the description. he crashed the car and then took off into the forest. >> anything you could tell us about the deceased deputy, number of years in the service, marriage -- >> i'm not going to comment on any of that. we're still doing some investigation and notifying family members. thank you. >> as you can imagine, the sheriff would like to get back into the families in the hospital. is there any other questions i
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can try to answer for you? >> do you know where the deputy passed away? here in the hospital or -- >> no information regarding the deputies is being released at this time. >> the two deputies that were injured, were they a part of the gun fight? did they exchange fire with the suspect? >> that is still remaining under investigation. >> and family members are here at the hospital now? >> family members have been notified, yes. >> this is early but do you know much about how much gun power he had in this gun battle? >> no, i don't. as you know, the incident is still unfolding at this time. >> what can you tell us about what's going on now? we're hearing that the home that he's in or holed up in is on fire. can you give us more on that? >> i'm sorry. i'm here with you guys. i'm not able to see what's happening actually out there at the scene. i understand as i said that the incident is still currently unfolding at this time. >> can you just tell us about
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the presence here at the hospital. obviously a large presence of sheriffs deputies. is no one being allowed in the area? >> as far as the hospital is concerned? yes, there's a large presence of law enforcement. law enforcement is a very close knit family. all law enforcement agencies is a brotherhood. so this is a very difficult day, again, for law enforcement. [ inaudible question ] >> yes. >> lapd is offering you how they play in this? >> we have been offered help from all surrounding law enforcement. law enforcement is one big family. they take care of each other. lapd is here, of course. they're being surrounded by law enforcement. >> what about up at the scene in big bear? is lapd involved there? >> yes, lapd along with surrounding cities is also part of the incident on highway 38. >> can you tell us the age of the deputies? >> there will be no information
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released at this time regarding the deputies. >> is that because all family has not been notified yet? >> that's because we're not releasing any information at this time about the deputies involved. okay, thank you, guys very much. >> that was with the nbc bureau. john, that brings casualty list to four. two police officers, two others dead because of what this gunman's involved with here now. and now we have another wounded police officer who's apparently going to make it. this is continuing. and now we have what looks to be a barricade situation up in the hills there in big bear county. >> that's right, chris. and i can also tell you that we're seeing unfortunately not our helicopter, not the knbc helicopter, but others are showing black smoke rising from a cabin. we can't tell if it's in the cabin in which the man believed to be dorner has been barricaded
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in. but it appears this may be moving toward some sort of conclusion. and as you say, we now have one san bernardino county sheriff's deputy killed in the shootout this afternoon with the man believed to be dorner. another one wounded, in surgery but expected to survive. we now have two police officers, one riverside police officer, one san bernardino county deputy who have been killed. as you said, two others killed as well. >> do we have a sense right now the order of how many police officers and personnel carriers and weaponry are now around this cabin in the hills? >> well, we can't see because of the -- we're being kept a fair piece away. but you can only imagine. we've got both san bernardino sheriff's county deputies. you've got u.s. marshals. you've got lapd. i'm not sure if riverside police have also responded or are
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providing assistance. but there's a fair amount of personnel, equipment, and presumably fire power around that cabin right now. >> i'm trying to figure out how bad this is going to get tonight. i heard a report on another network awhile ago this officer had died. the deputy in the san bernardino's department. they held it because they wanted to do is fushlly through the department. what's it like out there? give us a sense. in terms of local security. every policeman in the area seems to be focused on this now. >> and the emotion of police who have been guarding fellow -- not only fellow officers who were listed in the manifesto, but the families, the children, the wives, the spouses of officers. and you've already had the daughter of one former officer killed.
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as lapd chief charlie beck said over the weekend, it's one thing to have a job and as a result of your job you are targeted. but to be related to somebody and be targeted because you are the child of a police officer, you are the spouse of a police officer. i think that it's fair to say that emotions and tensions are running high. >> they sure are. >> and as you know last week, you had lapd officers firing on vehicles that they were just -- that turned out not to be carrying dorner. that didn't match the description of dorner. >> john, we have to go right now. thank you so much. stay with us tonight. we'll be right back with you later. let's go now for knbc for their live reporting. >> -- maybe other agencies. the fbi, marshal service, and other state and federal agencies. but again, i would think that longs the sheriff's office was comfortable, that they had both the negotiations as well as the
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tactical capability to resolve it, they would take the lead and they would be the one to resolve the situation. backed up and supported by all the men and women of other agencies as well as equipment. as far as any type of air assets, other than having the helicopter up on the offchance the shooter inside that cabin would make a break for it, i doubt we would see any type of helicopters used to bring tactical officers or agents in at this point. they can deal with it from the ground. these are the situations that law enforcement is trained to deal with. local s.w.a.t. is very good at these things. and i think well within the capability of the sheriff's office to deal with this barricaded situation. for a long time law enforcement went this last week or so many times have been out-gunned by a person believed to be christopher dorner because of
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the high caliber of perhaps weapon capacity he's had. when he goes up against a law enforcement s.w.a.t. team, that's not the case anymore. >> that's interesting because a lot of people think officers are equipped with assault weapons now. not necessarily. >> and the answer is no, not necessarily. most of the time you see patrol officers will have a semiautomatic pistol. they may have a shotgun in the vehicle. they may have a rifle depending on the agency. again, these are patrol officers doing what they normally do which is to try to maintain the peace on the street. that's why we have s.w.a.t. that's why we have men and women who are capable of these high risk type of activities. and again, this is the situation once they have the shooter believed to be dorner located in a given location, local s.w.a.t., sheriff's office s.w.a.t. is more than capable of dealing with the situation. >> clint, i want to interrupt
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you for a second to tell our viewers what they're seeing. this is a live picture from a helicopter. this is smoke billowing from the area. we at this point cannot confirm exactly what this picture is, if this has anything to do with the standoff. >> i'm looking for anything that would be a major highway here. highway 38 and glass, but we've been told we have to get off the shot now. so let's switch back to what we were talking about. again, we're trying to figure out what where the smoke was coming from. it didn't appear there was a major highway in the area. it didn't have the same configuration that we saw earlier today with the cabins and the compound. >> also didn't have all the snow on the ground. just a few hours ago we saw the cabin that was at the center of all this, snow several feet of snow on the rooftop and on the roads. again, it's been a few hours, it's later in the afternoon, it's warmer potentially snow could have melted. but clint, i want to ask you. you mentioned that the officers in the area responding don't want this to go into the night.
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what will they actually do? obviously there are decisions that will be made in terms of how to escalate this. at what point do they go in and decide to escalate the situation? >> well, once the on-scene commander has made a decision that he has a strong inner and outer perimeter, the inner is the s.w.a.t. team. nobody passes that. s.w.a.t. has the responsibility for the inner perimeter to the cabin. there will be an outer perimeter of uniformed officers that will keep everybody outside of the area. their job is to make sure nobody comes in, nobody goes out. once law enforcement has satisfied themselves there are no hostages inside the cabin and that they have made every attempt they believe possible to try to talk this person out without any more violence and it's not succeeding, law enforcement then will have no
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choice but make a decision to resolve this tactically. >> and clint, the decision is also to sit and hunker down and wait it out or to go in. if they do decide to go in and as you've been saying that they would probably like to do that before darkness, if they do decide to go in, how would they do it? i've seen standoffs in the past whether that's tear gas, flash/bang grenades. how do you predict something like that would play out in this situation? >> we've had too many people killed and injured by this believed shooter already. i would hate to have to commit officers, the s.w.a.t. teams to physically go in that cabin if we thought dorner was there and he was still capable of shooting or firing at the officers. so i would think they would do everything they could to number one, obviously isolate that cabin. and number two, fill it with smoke, gas, or anything else
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that they have within their tactical equipment to try to drive that person in the inside out as opposed to having to commit officers from the outside in. it appears there are no hostages to save. the only person inside is a gunman who's believed to be a multimurderer. we don't need to have any other officers wounded or worse by this guy. and the last thing we want to do is give him more targets. >> and clint, as we look at that, one of those issues may have been resolved. this cabin is very isolated except for 234e wooded area around there. we understand from joe grover, he was talking to the owner of this cabin compound and the main cabin which is off to the screen right here. is vacant. it was occupied this weekend but is vacant now. is there any doubt in your mind there's some sort of communication going on or an effort to communicate with the suspect in that cabin right now? >> oh, i would have to assume
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because having been a hostage negotiator myself for the fbi, i know in a situation even like this where you've got someone who's a believed killer or killer of police officers even, you would still make every effort to extend him the chance to come out. there would be a number of different things the negotiators might say. but realize that it's hard to negotiate when someone's shooting at you. >> how do you do it if he doesn't have a cell phone and there's no land line there? is it the old bull horn? >> two different ways. you could use a bull horn. of course that's a one-way communication. it sounds very much like an old episode of "dragnet" if you do it, but if that's the only choice you have, you do it. the other that puts a risk on a tactical team is you have what's called a throw phone. usually it's a padded telephone. it's wired. you take that, you'd have a tactical team try to insert that
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to the cabin if there was no phone in it. and give him the capability of two-way conversation. but the only person on the other end of the line would be a law enforcement negotiator. he wouldn't have the ability to call out and talk to anyone else. if he refuses it, that's his choice. when we see this situation resolved, if it's not already resolved, this will be resolved as christopher dorner wanted to do it. if he wants to come out and wants to have a say, law enforcement will let him do it. if he wants to go out in a blaze of glory and feel that he will be martyred by this, law enforcement will have to give him that opportunity too. >> you know, there were reports earlier today. they were concerned that the cabin might be booby-trapped. and because he is familiar with lapd policies and he's trained, how great a concern is that for the officers on scene there? the s.w.a.t. officers.
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>> again, there is no reason to risk the life of an officer as long as they feel they have the situation stabilized and that there's no way that dorner can get out without a law enforcement officer seeing him. time then becomes on the side on law enforcement with the exception as you and i have discussed of night fall. and you don't want to take the chance any way, shape, or form that he could get out of that somehow. perhaps a worst case scenario, if there's an underground capability if someone could go under and pop up in the woods. law enforcement will not want to take that chance. and again, it takes a lot to bring up lights and set lights up at night. those make very good targets too. so law enforcement will make sure they have that area covered. make sure nobody can get in and out. then they will give dorner the
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choice. and the choice basically is to surrender or in his case die. >> and clint, stay with us for a second. i just want to walk our viewers through what they're seeing. this billowing smoke from a wooded area, there are reports this is near the cabin at the center of this standoff. reports have not been confirmed about what is actually happening in this picture, but just want to tell our viewers what they're seeing on the left of their screen. that is a picture of one of the road blocks on highway 38. clint, i want to ask you as a former fbi profiler, here you are in this situation. we've discussed several scenarios. this is a man who's been trained by the lapd, who's been trained as a u.s. navy reservist. we know he's armed and dangerous. we've been reporting on his manifesto on which he declares war on the lapd. do you see any scenario in which this man if it is in fact christopher dorner would surrender? >> the only scenario i think he
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would come out on would be if he was convinced in his own mind or a law enforcement negotiator was able to offer to him the idea that his life will be lost and no one will realize the full reason why, that his manifesto wasn't enough and that he needs to come out. he needs to have his day in court. if he believes that he was discriminated against, he needs to come out and tell others. otherwise people are just going to write him off as some nut with a gun. that might reach him, but again, i would say with him in that cabin and firing at law enforcement -- again, we're told over 500 shots or more have been exchanged. this is the type of guy that's going to go to automatic pilot. based on his law enforcement training, military training, this is almost going to be like some terrible video game where he's going from window to window and firing and trying to acquire targets. believing it's him against the world. and tonight that appears to be
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the case. >> clint, going back to those reports that he may have been dressed in tactical gear trying to blend in, what does that say to you about the situation? that he was trying to escape the mountain at this point? >> well, i think he probably stayed up there as long as he could. realize that some have suggested that the cabin he was holed up in was very close to the law enforcement command post. so he would have had the capability, should that be the case, to see people come and go. and he would have realized that a lot of the assets had been pulled off the mountain. that they were being deployed in other places. and he may well have figured that this was a good time he could slide out, perhaps pull a hat down over his eyes, wear tactical clothing, and drive out. and maybe thinking that he could look like one of the other law enforcement officers. but again, this is guy who's
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6' tall, 275 pounds. he was a small mountain of a man, and it would have been hard to have blended in. obviously one of the state officers who saw him drive by recognized him, thought he recognized him, turned around and confronted him. that's when this apparently final confrontation took place. >> clint, bear with us for a second. our viewers are washing these flashes across the screen. again, want to mention that one san bernardino county sheriff's department has been killed in a shootout with the man that police believe or authorities believe to be christopher dorner. another deputy is currently in surgery but is expected to survive at last update. and i wanted to ask you again -- colleen was asking about the tactical gear and survival gear. there is some question as to whether christopher dorner -- we've been hearing conflicting reports or this man matching his
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description was inside this cabin and had been holed up there. not this cabin at the center of the standoff today. but the other one where he allegedly took a couple hostage. there's some question as to whether he was there since thursday after he ditched his vehicle or perhaps just went there recently. you knew about the conditions over the weekend. there was a snowstorm. is it possible that christopher dorner could have survived in the woods? or do you think it's more likely that he's been holed up and taking shelter ever since? >> i think it's more likely that he's been holed up and taking shelter. look, when you have snow 12, 15 inches of snow when you have temperatures that are about 15 degrees outside, when you have wind gusts up to 50 miles an hour, that can give you a negative or a below-zero windchill factor. unless someone has appropriate multiple layers of clothes on
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and boots and hats and gloves and everything else, you couldn't survive in that environment outside. so he likely had to be inside some type of cabin, some type of location. and again realizing that if he was on foot, not only is he carrying 275 pounds of christopher dorner with him, but he's also carrying probably a backpack and multiple guns and ammunition. so he wasn't moving very fast very quickly or very far in those mountains. >> clint, do you think he's setting this up for suicide by cop now? >> i think if he could, he would have escaped from the mountain. but this is a smart guy. we can't take it away from him. and in his mind just like we're talking about various scenarios, he would have had various scenarios, too, of what to do when confronted. whether he would surrender. whether he would in his own mind fight to the death perhaps in a suicide by cop scenario.
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so he had just like any police officer or military officer, a number of different responses based on the situation. he's the one that will choose that response and again tonight, this afternoon and tonight, whether he lives or dies is pretty much a choice that he's making and that law enforcement will have to facilitate. >> you know, in your career in law enforcement, have you ever seen a situation that even resembles this? >> i've never seen anyone this trained and this heavily armed. when this first broke with the murder of the young couple and the murder of the police officer and ambush of the other officers, i think i said at the time this is probably the most dangerous person that law enforcement has gone up against in a number of years. and i said that because number one, his training. number two, his physical size. number three, the amount of
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weaponry he had. number four, his ability, his desire to actually use those weapons against others. and lastly, his indication that he was willing to die. if you have someone who has all of those things going for them plus no reason to live, that's an awful deadly combination. and unfortunately we've seen that play out this last week. >> one quick question. do you envision them bringing in family members to talk to him at all? or is this going to be said and done? >> nope. this is going to be said and done. this is -- if he wants this to be the alamo, that's what it's going to be. but there's not going to be family members or ministers or anybody else calling in talking to him. i mean, i was on msnbc earlier this evening with the reverend al sharpton, and i was trying -- because we thought perhaps if he had a television or radio inside as a negotiator, you know, my mind still functions like that.
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with al sharpton i was trying to give dorner reasons why it would be better to come out. you have to tell someone in the situation like that what they have to gain versus what they have to lose. and then let the make the choice. and i think in the media, too, we've got a responsibility to try to do that. number one, whether we save christopher dorner or not, he's another human being. but more importantly we save other police officers from having to confront an armed individual who's very capable of killing them. as it may turn out that there was no television, no radio, no telephone inside. but again, law enforcement is the one who would try to talk to him. but if they try to speak to him verbally and he answered them with volleys of gunfire, that's the time you draw the line in the sand. he's made his decision and let's get it over with. >> all right. clint van zandt, thanks so much for your time.
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you shed a lot of light and perspective on what's going on up there in big bear for us. appreciate it. >> right now we want to get to our reporter out there at one of the road blocks. you've seen the vehicles coming and going. a variety of s.w.a.t. vehicles. what's new from your vantage point? >> five minutes ago the sheriff's department bringing one of their trucks that's hauling those big lights, those liegtss they use when they have to light up a large area. that's the first one we've seen come up. and moments ago we saw the first fire engine head up there. understand we are 20 miles south of where everything is happening. we keep looking on the ridgeline to see if we can see any of that smoke. the answer is no. beyond that there's not much more we can say. we continue to see the officers standing around here. we've seen much less activity going back up to the
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mountainside. we're about 20 miles south -- okay. sounds like they're going to do some moving around here to bring more crews in. i just want to look down here and see if there's anything large coming this way. i don't see anything, but it appears they just want to get a bit more room in here in case they do make this a larger command post as the night goes on. i'll send it back to you. >> john, can you describe the lights one more time? and i ask because we were just speaking with an fbi profiler clint van zandt who said they do not want this to go into the darkness. that that only complicates the situation, puts officers at risk. you're saying you saw large lights being carried up there? it appears as if maybe they're preparing for the sun to go down. >> yeah. i wish i knew -- you know, we see them all the time. i wish i knew what the name of those lights were. they're the big ones. we are readjusting now because it sounds like they're getting ready to do some sort of press conference over here where they're going to be saying
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something. if you want to stay with us, we'll find out who exactly is going to be speaking here. but they're trying to get all the media to move over into this area to give us an update on something. so we're going to reposition there. guys, can you come back to us when we're ready? >> absolutely. absolutely. in the meantime, we're going to continue to look at this picture off to the side here. this is a fire that's burning in the area. this is not far from the second cabin where the believe christopher dorner is holed up. we were talking with the fbi profiler clint van zandt just a moment ago. he said standard protocol at is establish an inner perimeter, which would be the tactical units, ie s.w.a.t. and things like that. the outer from time to time worry be the patrol officers who would close off the roads and keep things -- let's go back to the -- area in the news conference. >> at this time, that cabin is
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on fire. as far as our deputy sheriffs that were injured during the firefight, one of our deputy sheriffs was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital. and the second deputy is in surgery now and is expected to survive. >> can you describe how this firefight happened? >> i can't. i know that the subject stole a vehicle from the big bear area. he fled on foot not far from this cabin that he is in now. when he barricaded himself in the cabin, there was gunfire exchanged between the deputies who were the first responders and the suspect. the suspect has been described as looking similar to christopher dorner, and we have reason to believe that it is him. that is unconfirmed at this time, because we have not had any contact with him except for the deputies that were engaged in gunfire with him. >> excuse me. how did this fire start? >> i can't talk to you about the
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fire. i just received information when i got here. >> let's go right now to john yang with our bureau in los angeles. how do we put all these cabins in place? the one that is burning, are they one in the same? >> i think we just heard the san bernardino county spokesperson that they're one in the same. that this is the cabin where they believe dorner has been holed up, where he fled to this afternoon, and that where he has been trading shots with the san bernardino county sheriff's department. >> well, we're both looking at the same nbc helicopter picture here. and it is clearly an area where there has been snowfall recently. you can see that. so it could well be. it looks like that. here is the question. where is mr. dorner. >> that's a good question. is he inside or was he inside? and how did the fire start? did he start it? i would imagine there is a possibility that authorities might have fired tear gas or
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maybe even some smoke bombs in there. and it is possible. and this is pure speculation, that that could have ignited a fire. but we just don't know what is going on. and it does appear that this fire is burning unchecked. >> well, let's go right now to the news conference, john. it's being conducted by the san bernardino sheriff's department. let's watch. >> with the subject inside. >> are the hostages in the cabin? >> i'm not aware of any hostages. >> were there hostages earlier. >> the two held by him that ended up calling, were they harmed in any way? who were they? how did they get out of this thing? >> the victims of the car theft, i know the car was stolen from their home. but i don't know how the incident unfolded at their home. as far as i know, there were no injuries to those people. but after he fled the scene and
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then was engaged in a firefight with our deputies, what happened at the house wasn't that important after i knew that they -- >> the house in the past two zmas we heard reports he may have been holding this couple hostage. >> have i not heard that. >> do you know what kind of weapons you're up against? >> no, i don't. >> are you sure somebody is that that house? >> are you sure somebody is in that house that is burning? >> we believe somebody is in that house, yes. >> do you believe it is christopher dorner at this point? >> we have reason to believe that it is him. the victims who had their car stolen reported to us that that suspect matched the description of christopher dorner. >> as well as the game and fish wardens who came across him? >> i don't know what the fish and game wardens said. >> can you confirm that there are no hostages or you don't have any information? >> i have not been advised that there are any hostages involved in this current situation. >> just to clarify, what we're talking about is not this one where the fire is, but on club view that he may have been holed
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up in a home or cabin. is there any truth to any of that? >> that hasn't been confirmed. like i said, as things begin to unfold, when i knew that the victims of the car theft were not hurt, i didn't ask any further about that. >> deputies who were shot, including two deputies and the ranger, or were there more than that? >> i'm only aware of our two deputy sheriffs that were shot. >> you start with fish and game that originally reported? >> i did hear reports that there were shots fired at a fish and game vehicle. >> did they then call the sheriff's department? >> the situation was already going on at that point. >> do you know if the gas that was put into the house started the fire? >> i don't. i don't know. >> and how much force did they good in with in? was it just gas or other devices? >> i don't know. it's an active situation, and they're not concerned about updating me with that kind of detail at this point. >> i don't know. i know that there was a smoke
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bomb, but i don't know if that was from the suspect or from -- >> any ammunition or explosions at the burning house? >> we would assume that there is ammunition there. >> is time on your side, or at some point do they just go in? >> that will be up to them to determine how to handle it. >> have all the civilians in the area been moved out ahead of this, or are there people who are now in their homes in that immediate area with christopher dorner perhaps on the run in the seven oaks area? >> i'm not aware there are any neighbors who need to be evacuated. i think if there were, that that was done early on. >> how confident are you that you have him? are you going to wait until this thing completely burns to the ground before you move in? >> they're evaluating it as -- the scene is -- it's an active scene. and it's burning right now. and they have a plan. and they have not had time to update me on every detail of that plan. >> we have about 30 minutes --
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>> being fired out of the house before the fire started, or was it after the fire started? >> there was active gunfire before the fire. >> do you know what type of weapon he had? >> no, i don't. >> you don't know who started this fire? law enforcement or dorner? >> i don't. >> there were shooting coming from the cabin towards the deputies. >> correct. >> and gunfire exchanged? >> there was an exchange of gunfire between the subject in the cabin and the law enforcement personnel that were surrounding the cabin. >> and at that time the cabin was completely surrounded by law enforcement when that exchange was going on? >> completely surrounded, i'm not sure. but there was law enforcement outside of the cabin when the exchange of gunfire occurred. we had air units up as this was going on. >> eyes on the entire time. >> shot while the suspect was in the cabin, not while he was running to the cabin, correct? >> i don't know the exact sequence of events. i know there was an exchange of gunfire. two deputies were shot. one of those deputies died as a result. the second deputy is in surgery
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and is expected -- >> do you know if this man was hit, if dorner was hit? >> at some point mr. dorner abandoned the stolen vehicle? >> he did. he abandoned the stolen vehicle and fled into the forest, and that's how he ended up in this cabin. >> the gunfire had been exchanged before he abandoned the vehicle? >> no. after he abandoned the vehicle. >> you have about a half hour -- >> i'm sorry? >> are you guys aware if he has been hit? >> we're not aware. >> you have a half hour of sunlight left. how critical is that you get him before that sun goes down? >> it's critical that we end this situation as soon as possible. he is an armed and dangerous subject. >> could you give us another summary, please, an up to date summary. >> there are no police cars missing that i'm aware of. circumstances there any attempt of communication with him? >> i'm not sure. did it appear he had any body

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Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC February 12, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm PST

News/Business. (2013) (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Christopher Dorner 15, Lapd 11, San Bernardino 8, Los Angeles 6, California 6, Knbc 4, Clint Van Zandt 3, Fbi 2, L.a. 2, Msnbc 2, John 2, John Yang 2, Dennis 2, Clint 2, Allstate 1, Anna Garcia 1, Untruthfulness 1, Alex 1, Union 1, Siemens 1
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